School Safety Zones

Community Safety Zones in School Zones

At the May City Council meeting, I moved a motion to lift the 18 year-old moratorium on the creation of new Community Safety Zones.
 
The Highway Traffic Act permits the designation of a portion of a highway within 150 metres from the entrance or exit from a school as a School Safety Zone. By creating Community Safety Zones, the City of Toronto can further extend safety measures beyond the prescribed 150 metre frontage of schools in School Safety Zones.
 
The creation of new Community Safety Zones will designate the extended frontages of the 754 kindergarten to grade 8 schools within the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board as Community Safety Zones. I also moved a motion at the most recent Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that all eligible Public and Catholic French Language School Boards are included in this initiative.
 
Additionally, I requested that the General Manager of Transportation Services report on ways to accelerate the roll out and implementation of Community Safety Zones as quickly as possible.
 
The implementation strategy calls for the consideration of a number of safety improvements in Community Safety Zones, including:

  • New school ahead signs with flashing beacons;
  • "School" pavement stencils;
  • "Watch Your Speed" driver feedback signs;
  • Zebra markings at pedestrian crosswalks;
  • Elevated crosswalks;
  • Painted lane width reductions and curb radius reductions;
  • Flexible in-road warning signs; and
  • Bollards.

Following approval at City Council, roughly 250-300 schools will have designated Community Safety Zones by Q4 of 2018. We must be more aggressive in making Toronto's roads safer for our school-aged children, our most vulnerable road users

School Safety Zones

School Safety Zones.jpg

At the beginning of this term, I spearheaded the development of Toronto’s first-ever comprehensive and city-wide Road Safety Plan. The City has now embarked on a five year commitment to make real changes to our roads to make them safer for everyone.

On the first day of school, I unveiled the City’s latest measure to improve road safety – our School Safety Zones. By the end of the year, we will have 22 School Safety Zones in place, with another 20 in 2018 and each year after that.

The School Safety Zones feature:

  • New school zone safety signs with flashing beacons
  • School zone pavement markings
  • “Watch Your Speed” driver feedback signs
  • Zebra markings at school crosswalks

Staff are also extending the coverage of enhanced pavement markings up to 250m away from schools in support of active and safe routes to school.

The prioritization of school zones are based on consultation with the Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards, local Councillors and the police and takes into consideration the number of collisions in the area and the area’s walkability index. The list of schools will be provided to the Toronto Police Services in order to increase enforcement.

As you know, we are now in the Fall season when the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when collisions increase. For this reason, since approval of the Toronto’s Road Safety Plan, we’ve also:

  • Accelerated the implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Corridor program. By the end of the year, there will be 46 of these corridors which include a variety of measures to reduce safety risks for pedestrians.
  • Rolled out Senior Safety Zones, which include increased walk times at traffic signals, improved pedestrian markings and better signage.

To stay up to date, check out our website toronto.ca/VisionZeroTO.